Fermented Salsa (Fermentation is the New Black)

Fermented Salsa: What? How? Why?Fermentation is the new black in the health food world. I’m just as guilty as anyone else- if you tell me something is fermented, or could possibly be fermented, I’m automatically giving it more credit as a health food and I’m gonna try to make it myself. Kombucha, kefir, you name it- let me have it!

So, why do we like fermented stuff so much? It’s amazingly good for you! Fermented foods and beverages contain large amounts of enzymes, antioxidants, and friendly bacterias that colonize the gut and promote healthy digestion. These beneficial bacteria also help to balance out any type of bad bacteria that may be colonizing the gut, as well. My midwife actually recommended that I consume fermented foods daily, not only to aid with digestion, but to prevent pregnancy-related infections, such as Group B Strep.

When I ran across a few fermented salsa recipes on Pinterest, I knew that this was a concept I couldn’t pass up. My countertops have been brimming with late summer tomatoes, hot peppers, and a stash of local onions and garlic for the winter- I had all the ingredients already! So one afternoon, I set to work making homemade salsa to ferment.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

3-4 organic tomatoes
3-4 organic peppers (mild or hot, based on your taste)
1 organic onion
2-3 cloves organic garlic
Juice of 2 citruses (lime, lemon, or one of each)
2 tablespoons of sea salt
*Optional: cilantro, cumin, cayenne pepper powder, to taste

Chop all ingredients to desired texture and mix together. If desired, pulse in a food processor or blender to a smoother consistency. Store in a glass jar, leaving some room at the top, and leave on the kitchen counter for 2-4 days to allow fermentation to take place. You may even be able to see it- mine looked a little bit fizzy! Then, store in the fridge until it’s gone. It won’t take long 🙂

This salsa operates on the most basic type of fermentation: lactic acid. The salt simply transforms the ingredients into probiotic goodness! I honestly could barely taste the difference between this salsa and my regular homemade salsa. Maybe a little bit more tangy, a little bit fizzy or vinegar-y, but nothing too crazy. I left mine for 3 days, so maybe if I’d left it longer, it would’ve been stronger.

Have you ever fermented anything at home? Kraut, Kimchi, Pickles, Kombucha, Yogurt? Have any idea for something you could ferment? Share it with us!

thehomesteadinghippy.com

Foods You Never Knew You Liked: Kombucha

I am writing this post fully aware that I will not convert many of you to my favorite drink. It took me a very long time to try it, and I didn’t like it at first- and I will get to why later. Put I promise, if you stick with me, you’ll discover a new favorite beverage that is not only a treat for your taste buds, but your whole body as well.

Kombucha is, essentially, fermented sweet tea. There is more to it that that, specific cultures of bacteria and full of amino acids and the like, but that’s really all you need to know. It can be flavored with fresh juices, mixed with spirulina, stirred into cocktails, you name it. With a very slight vinegar taste (which, as an avid opposer to the existence of vinegar, I find easy to ignore), this elixir is naturally carbonated and positively excellent for you to consume. Straight from the #1 blog on the subject, here is a list of the wonderdrink’s supposed health benefits:

Probiotics – healthy bacteria


Alkalize the body – balances internal pH


Detoxify the liver

Increase metabolism

Improve digestion 


Rebuild connective tissue – helps with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism


Cancer prevention

Alleviate constipation


Boost energy – helps with chronic fatigue


Reduce blood pressure

Relieve headaches & migraines

Reduce kidney stones


High in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer


High in polyphenols


Improve eyesight


Heal excema – can be applied topically to soften the skin


Prevent artheriosclerosis


Speed healing of ulcers – kills h.pylori on contact


Help clear up candida & yeast infections


Aid healthy cell regeneration


Reduce gray hair


Lower glucose levels – prevents spiking from eating

Yes, some of these are lofty claims, and none of them are backed up by the FDA, so hear me when I say that THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE and drinking kombucha is not going to cure anything. But I will promise you that you will feel better- maybe in a way that you can’t explain, but you will. If you are a person who suffers from digestive irregularity, this is for you. Tired in the afternoon? This drink has virtually cut out my 2pm sleepies. I get sick less often, have clearer skin, hold less water weight, and have a more balanced appetite!

My favorite brand of store-bought kombucha is GT’s, available at Whole Foods, Wegmans, and many co-ops and health stores. Their Synergy line is very easy to drink and great for ‘whetting the palate’ to kombucha. Personally, I think that the mango flavor is my favorite, followed closely by their Trilogy, a blend of raspberry, lemon, and ginger juices.

It is possible to ‘brew’ your own kombucha at home- in fact, I am in the process right now! More info and pictures when the brew is complete.